Elena Trapé, whose character-driven ensemble pieces “Blog” and “The Distances” marked her out as a talent to watch, is attached to direct “Gwendolyne, Diary of a Fan,” (“Gwendolyne, Diario de Una Fan”), one of two series being brought onto the market at Ventana Sur’s Spanish Screenings by Barcelona-based Coming Soon Films.
Screenplay for “Gewndlyne” is by Marta Buisán and Jordi Casado and Miguel Ibánez Monroy.
Led by Marta Ramírez, head of production on J.A. Bayona’s “The Orphanage,” Coming Soon, which already produced Trapé’s “The Distances,” is also introducing in Buenos Aires “The Summer of Dead Toys,” (“El verano de los juguetes muertos”), a procedural adapting Catalan Tony Hill’s acclaimed debut crime novel of the same title, produced with Barcelona’s Corte y Confección de Películas.
“Gwendolyne’s” titular protagonist, now 30, had one of the times of her life – one of the only times of her life – when 15, she was chasing the Sexy Gods, her favourite boy ban, around Barcelona, just as they dissolved. Now, however, they’re about to get together again; which she sees as a solution to all her life problems: Useless studies, a dead-end job; a d***head boyfriend, a flat share with her distant and conniving boss.
As her life plunges into life crisis, Gwendolyne thinks that everything will be solved if she gets back stage with the back-on-stage Sexy Gods. That, however, is a misconception.
“This is an absolutely necessary coming-of-age tale, with a protagonist whom we haven’t seen before,” commented Trapé.
“I’ve always been a big fan of scripted British TV,” she added, praising how it “moves between documentary and film, achieving a perfect balance between veracity and cinematic aesthetics. I love how it risks with its cast, shoots on locations, the light, the hand-held camera, the narrative drive, and above all, how it gets us to identify with its characters, their pains, lives and emotions,” she added, citing “Pure,” “I May Destroy You” and “Fleabag.”
“‘Gwendolyne’ is a comedy of clear female leads, with a lot of music and in which sisterhood plays a key role,” added Coming Soon’s Ramírez.
Trapé’s “Blog” won a Special Mention at San Sebastian’s La Otra Mirada prize; “The Distances” swept Malaga’s Golden Biznaga for best picture as well as director and actress (Alexandra Jiménez) in 2018.
Produced by Coming Soon, Trapé’s next feature, “Els encantats,” with Laia Costa (“Lullaby”), shot this Summer.
A BCN Showrunners alum, Buisán formed part of the production team on two series from Catalan public broadcaster TV3, El Gran Dictat and La Riera. A dramatist-actor-screenwriter, Casado wrote and directed theater plays “Vivo” and “en-Cadena, “and took part in collective creation “a-Gig-a-Byte,” staged at London’s Rose Theatre.
A graduate of Barcelona’s famed ESCAC film school, the alma mater of J.A. Bayona, Ibañez Monroy co-wrote TV3 series “Cites” (2016), and Trapé’s “The Distances” and “Els Encantats,” as well as Carlos Martín’s “El año de la plaga” and Laura Alvea’s “La mujer dormida,” now shooting for Coming Soon.
‘The Summer of Dead Toys,’ From ’Perfect Life’ Producer Corte y Confección and Coming Soon
“Having lamented the disappearance of such complex and haunted stalwarts as John Rebus from the mystery pantheon, let us welcome a wonderfully troubled new entry, Barcelona police inspector Hector Salgado, in Antonio Hill’s ‘The Summer of Dead Toys,’” wrote Bruce Tierney in BookPage, about Catalan Toni Hill’s first crime novel, a 2011 breakout bestseller published by Penguin Random House and translated into 17 languages.
In the series adaptation, now set in 2022 Barcelona, Inspector Salgado – short-fused, violent, macho, returning to service after having been suspended for assault and battery of a pimp – and agent Leire Castro – rational, feminist, sometimes naive – investigate a high-society death, which may be related to that of a girl 17 years earlier. They unpack a large can of worms.
“‘The Summer of Dead Toys’ is a thriller with a magnetic protagonist and a present-day Barcelona portrayed like we haven’t seen before,” said Corte y Confección’s Oriol Maymó.
A first entry in what became an Hector Salgado book trilogy, “The Summer of Dead Toys” TV miniseries adaptation is being written by Ibañez Monroy.
Founded by producers Maymó and Marc Gómez de Moral and Guillermo del Toro (“Pan’s Labyrinth”) and J.A. Bayona (“Jurassic Park: Fallen Kingdom”) editor Bernat Vilaplana, Corte y Confección’s distinguished credits take in two standout Movistar+ originals – “Vida Perfecta,” Leticia Dolera’s 2019 Canneseries best series and acting winner, and Mariano Barroso’s “The Invisible Line.”
Corte y Confección has also produced two series with Netflix: “El tiempo que te doy,” with Emma Suárez, star of Pedro Almodóvar’s “Julieta,” and “Fanático,” a short, 15-20 minute episode series directed by Roger Gual (“Smoking Room,” “Cable Girls”).